A group of senior lawyers from the South-East under the auspices of Concerned Senior Advocates of Nigeria of South-East extraction has called on former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and other eminent Nigerian leaders to wade into the security challenges pervading the region.
The Concerned South-East SANs (Senior Advocates of Nigeria) bemoaned incessant attacks by gunmen on public infrastructures and security agencies in the region.
It stated that the violent activities are not supported by the people of the region.
While lamenting the horrible state of the region, the group said stakeholders across the country should organise peace talks between the law enforcement agents and people of the South-East to resolve the crisis.
This group made this disclosure in a statement signed by Chief Udechukwu Nnoruka Udechukwu and made available to SaharaReporters on Tuesday.
“Concerned Senior Advocates of Nigeria of Southeast extraction (Concerned Southeast SANs) have noted with deep regret the recent killings and destruction of private and public properties including those of the police and other law enforcement agencies, as well as state institutions such as INEC, Courts, and Correctional Centres by unknown persons.
“The Concerned Southeast SANs condemn unequivocally and in very clear terms the said acts of arson and the taking of human lives in the process. These acts of violence are not supported and cannot be supported by the people of the Southeast. The Concerned Southeast SANs commiserate with the families of law enforcement officers, other public servants and private individuals who have lost their loved ones as a result of the recent carnage.
“Southeasterners are peace-loving, law abiding and development-oriented people and the recent carnage is not representative of the aspirations of the good people of the Southeast, just as is the case with the other geo-political Zones of the Country where there have been security challenges,” the statement partly read.
The senior legal practitioners went further to appeal to the unidentified forces behind the chaos and tension in the region to sheathe their swords and embrace peace.
“It is indeed worrisome that the persons or group of people responsible for the mayhem; where they are from and what their objectives are remain unknown. It is equally worrisome that the management of the crisis unfortunately exhibits double standards with regard to the response of Federal security agencies in South-East visà-vis other similarly afflicted zones.
“In order to find an immediate resolution and stop further degeneration of the security situation, the Concerned Southeast SANs hereby call for a TRUCE and immediate cessation of hostilities on all sides to allow for a consideration of the underlying issues and grievances which have led to the recent rise in ethnic or tribal nationalism not only in the Southeast but in other parts of the country.
“The Concerned Southeast SANs hereby call on those who are destroying public and private properties, especially facilities of law enforcement agencies in the Southeast zone to immediately discontinue their actions in order to forestall the slide into a total breakdown of law and order in the zone. The Concerned Southeast SANs urge all persons in the Southeast to remain law-abiding whilst calling on the law enforcement agencies to respect the sanctity of life and avoid indiscriminate arrests,” the statement stated further.
In the statement titled, ‘Call For Truce By Concerned Senior Advocates Of Nigeria Of Southeast Extraction On The Recent Security Challenges In The Southeast Zone Of Nigeria,’ the Concerned Southeast SANs call on the Nigerian government to explore diplomacy and dialogue in restoring peace in the region.
“The Concerned Southeast SANs also appeal to the Federal Government to embrace dialogue and diplomacy as a means of resolving the myriad of growing disaffections across the entire country in the interest of peace and unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Concerned Southeast SANs also appeal to all Nigerians especially those in leadership positions to desist from rhetoric capable of inflaming the situation rather than bringing the desired peace and unity which we earnestly desire.
“In this regard, the Concerned Southeast SANs respectfully request His Excellency General Abdulsalami Abubakar GCFR, His Excellency Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan GCFR, His Excellency Chief Emeka Anyaoku CFR, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Colonel Dangiwa Umar (Rtd) jointly with other well-meaning Nigerians from the six geopolitical zones to intervene quickly in the matter with a view to securing a truce which would provide a conducive atmosphere for resolving the underlying issues which are currently threatening the survival of our dear nation,” the statement added.